Does the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) create lower expectations for minority students to improve school performance? That’s a question Wake County Commissioners’ Chairman Tony Gurley would like answered.
Yesterday Gurley and other county commissioners heard from William Sanders, author of a March 2009 SAS Institute report on Wake County Schools (See: article). The report noted minorities in Wake County Schools were less likely to be enrolled in higher level courses. Specifically the report stated,
The EVAAS school results for WCPSS demonstrate that the higher the percentage of poor students enrolled at a school, the poorer the school’s performance in assisting the child to make academic progress. Although the relationship between schooling effectiveness and SES factors within WCPSS is measureable, the magnitude of this relationship, is much less than the remainder of the state.
Yes, this was the same SAS report that was completed in March but sat on Superintendent Del Burns’ desk for months and then happened to be released just days before the election. Interestingly, while this story was percolating all day yesterday, no one from WCPSS was made available to comment. Go figure.
Anyway you slice it; the SAS report casts significant doubt over the results of Wake County’s use of diversity and school assignment to help boost minority student achievement.
One last thing — while I frequently enjoy reading Barry Saunders of the News and Observer, I rarely agree with him. Today I found myself doing both. Barry get’s it right in his column, Diversity Is Not a Cure All, A big thumb’s up. Worth reading.